The Person You Become
By: Ryan Hankemeier
The Michigan Department of Corrections policy directive states that all prisoners in segregation shall be provided with one hour of out of cell activity five days a week along with one ten minute shower three days a week and one fifteen minute phone call per week. Whenever you exit your cell a through body search will be conducted along with all items you are carrying prior to escort.
I was taught in Alcoholics Anonymous, that to do the same thing over and over again expecting the same result is insanity, but yet this is the life I live for the past decade of my life day in and day out. To allow yourself to become institutionalized would be to conform to this life I have been forced to live, and to conform would mean to accept the charges I received for a crime I did not even mean to committ while under the influence of alcohol. When even the person I mistakenly victimized stated in court that she did not want me to go to prison for the offense I committed. But yet here I sit 10 years later. And to accept the charges against me would mean I am just as guilty as the people I am surrounded by. Who actually ment to do what they did.
Meanwhile the state of Michigan collects thousands of dollars a year off of each person they incarcerate, ranking in the top ten states for having the largest prison population.
I served my country honorably going overseas in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. And this is how I am rewarded? I went from being a prominent member of society to a inmate and a statistic by a tap of a judge's malet. Trapped in a state I am not even from, so there's a lack of character witnesses to tell of the person I truly am and not what the state of Michigan is making me out to be.
I've learnt to keep my head up, no matter what I am surrounded by. because it will only try to bring you down to their level, and the people who are really trying to better themselves which is few and far between are still in the process reaching for their identities. Its a place where a persons true demons reveal themselves and if you are not happy with the person you are or the person you've become it shows, both when you look in the mirror and in your personality. Its a place where the lechers, the uneducated and the lost, are given a chance to find and fix themselves.
Its a place where a persons beliefs are their strongest asset. Because everyone believes in different things, and in every faith the ultimate goal is to become the best person you can be and reach perfection in your own beliefs. So no matter what your faith is, it all comes down to this. If you're not trying to be the best person you can be, and your not happy with the person you are or the person who've become. Who are you really?
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